Dating marshall cabinets by serial number
Mid-1968 Super Reverb export model modified by Hagstrm for the Swedish market.Note the removal of the voltage selector switch and hard-wiring. I just discovered that the silverface Bandmaster speaker cabinet (the big, tall one without tilt-back legs) is ported (see photo). I guess this is what the 1969 catalog refers to as “large, individual specially designed baffles.” And all along I thought the big n’ tall silverface cabs were just a macho thing to compete against the awesome looks of a Marshall half stack or full stack.These are marked with EIA code “831” and are most prevalent during the 1966-68 time period.Some examples include a '66 Princeton Reverb and ’66 Pro Reverb with Better Coil output transformer, a ‘66 Deluxe Reverb and ‘67 Twin Reverb with Better Coil reverb transformer, and a 1968 Vibro Champ with Better Coil trannies.They were something to behold, all chatting away while soldering so quickly, it didn't hardly seem like they were looking at the amps.After that the foreman would add the tubes, turn 'em on and set the bias.” Export models – We’ve confirmed that Fender amps were distributed by Hagstrm in Sweden.One has to wonder where all those factory original export back panels are! Another interesting tidbit is that a lot of Fenders were imported into Australia in the late 1950s and early 1960s that were stock 110-volt (domestic US) units.The Australian Fender Distributor then installed 240V - 110V stepdown transformers in the bottom of the cabinets.
Okay, I know you’re all just dying to skip ahead to the serial number tables but try to contain your excitement and read through the article first.
Note the check boxes for DOM (domestic US model), EXP (export model), CSA (Canada model), STD (standard) and SPEC (special).
I have to wonder how often Fender used the SPEC check box and what features a “special” amp or cabinet would have?!
A 1957 tweed Vibrolux was reported with a tube chart printed with circuit “5E3” (tweed Deluxe) instead of the correct 5F11 (see photo).
Clearly Fender wasn’t afraid to use incorrect parts when they were in a bind. The 5G12 Concert is the earliest version from very late 1959 and early 1960 so the existence of a tweed example, while extremely rare, is certainly plausible since Fender was making lots of tweed amps during the same time period.